Ericsson Research has made two of its biggest Web-based real time communications (WebRTC) developments, the Web browser Bowser and its OpenWebRTC framework available for users as free and openly available for developers across the globe.
Bowser, which is reportedly the only WebRTC capable browser to run on iOS was launched in 2012 and has now been released as open source to help spark development of more websites and apps that use the voice, video and messaging features.
The browser’s underlying framework, OpenWebRTC is a flexible cross-platform WebRTC client framework that can be used to build both native WebRTC apps and browser back-ends.
This move by Ericsson will provide developers with more choices and flexibility as part of efforts by the company to further quicken the pace of innovation in the WebRTC community.
WebRTC provides a simple way to build real-time applications and consists a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) and protocols that are being standardized within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
“The WebRTC standard is still evolving and developers are finding new ways of using the technology every day,” said Stefan Alund, the Research Manager at Ericsson.
“Our engineers have built OpenWebRTC in a way that makes it super simple to modify and extend, leaving room for even more experimentation with APIs and new features.”
With native app distribution often preferred over pure web apps when it comes to mobile platforms, OpenWebRTC has been built on the basis that the WebRTC standard will transcend the pure browser environment and native apps will become an important part in the ecosystem.
“While waiting for Mobile Safari to get WebRTC support we want as many people as possible to get a chance to start experimenting with WebRTC on iOS,” said Alund.
The Ericsson browser built on the OpenWebRTC framework had earlier in February this year been discontinued but has now been re-submitted to the Apple App Store as a free download, allowing better access to WebRTC developers.